Author Topic: Poetic This!  (Read 104085 times)

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2014, 07:46:57 AM »
Quote
. . . it would be nice if people would refrain from trying to force everything into the same box.

By "people" you must mean me.8)   Feel free to say so.

A thousand apologies, Neghe.  No offense intended.  I made no attempt to move your thread or otherwise disturb it.  I thought my response  might look like a hijacking of your thread, which I didn't want to do, so I posted my "general theory of poetry" discussion response on the thread established for that type of conversation.

While I saw your original post as passionate, creative, and very well written, forgive me that I did not recognize it as a "poem".  Ironic, huh?

I will watch with interest to see how your poem unfolds.

 :)
T    
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 07:56:11 AM by Tom 10 »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2014, 09:09:36 AM »
Neghe, your poem started the discusssion, but it was that discussion that we wanted to bring here. That way we could make the conversation about more than just your poem. Does that make sense? No one was trying to say you should have posted your poem here.

I think the confusion arises because I couldn't tell the difference between your poem and an essay, and I think I'm not the only one.

I'm not saying that's wrong or it's not a poem, but when you make a poem look like something else you can't be surprised if readers don't recognize it.

So back to the topic: Is there a difference and how do you tell the difference between prose and a prose-poem like we have been seeing here lately?

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2014, 09:28:25 AM »
oceandune's first poem reintroduced me to the breadth of intentional prosey poemish writings in the form of Baudelaire's writing.  And to be honest, there are sections of Robert Penn Warren's All The King's Men that feel like prose poem paragraphs, one after the other.  While sounding like prose, his writing can draw deeply from the poet's toolbox. 

There's no bright line between prose and poetry.  The more a piece of writing utilizes symbolism, metaphor, simile, allegory, cadence, meter, rhythm, rhyme, assonance, the more its going to look like a poem.  There are the visual features of a poem as well, that prose generally makes no attempt to use.


Offline Mark T

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2014, 12:00:18 PM »

Grammatical elements are increasingly a component of modern poetry, almost to the point where poems can be categorised as GC or non grammatically correct in a PC kind of way. It's not a bad thing because it improves communication and therefore allows for greater access and deeper topic exploration. The flip side is the criticism that this is merely choppy purple prose, which then draws us into the debate of prose/prosy/poetry-prose/poetry and what defines poetry. I suggest one can't decide on the basis of the actual written content because this is an individual art form where subjective judgement and disagreement rule. In prose there are no enjambments and white space is a no-no. I recently read a debate about whether full stops in prose should have one or two spaces after them but that's about as crazy as it gets in prose. So i suggest that it can be enjambments/line length/white space that can be used as a universal decider between prose and poetry - regardless of form, style, content etc - those are the determinants of whether it is good or bad poetry but non-prose white space can be instantly recognisable as the marker flag that this is a poetry attempt. It's not perfect but is easy as a mass definition before one even reads the content. Pretty simple and straight-forward really.

Grammatical elements
are increasingly a component
of modern poetry, almost to the point
where poems can be categorised as GC
or non grammatically correct in a PC kind of way.

It's not a bad thing because
it improves communication and
therefore allows for greater access
and deeper topic exploration. The flip side
is the criticism that this is
merely choppy purple prose,
which then draws us into the debate
of prose/prosy/poetry-prose/poetry
and what defines poetry.

I suggest one can't decide
on the basis of the actual written content
because this is an individual art form
where subjective judgement
and disagreement rule. In prose
there are no enjambments and
white space is a no-no. I recently read
a debate about whether full stops
in prose
should have one or two spaces after them
but that's about as crazy as it gets in prose.

So i suggest
that it can simply be
enjambments/line length/white space
that can be used as a universal decider
between prose and poetry –
regardless of form, style, content etc –
those are the determinants
of whether it is good or bad poetry -
but non-prose white space
can be instantly recognisable
as the marker flag that this
is a poetry attempt. It's not perfect
but is easy as a mass definition
before one even reads the content.

Pretty simple and straight-forward really.         

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2014, 12:12:57 PM »
Mark,

I like your attempt -- if it looks like a poem it must be a poem :)  It's a direct, clear definition that leaves no strings.  However attractive that part is, I disagree with the position.  While space can often be used to great effect in good poetry, for too many years I made the serious mistake of believing the return key can create poetic moments.  I've learned its not true.  If I can't bring a metaphor to maturity, or put words together to speak in unison, sing, whisper, cry, no amount of bad line breaks is going to cure that.  The other thing is I'm not prepared to declare things that don't look vertical to not be poems. 8)  

just my opinion.

T
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 12:50:04 PM by Tom 10 »

Offline Neghe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2014, 12:39:09 PM »
Neghe, your poem started the discusssion, but it was that discussion that we wanted to bring here. That way we could make the conversation about more than just your poem. Does that make sense? No one was trying to say you should have posted your poem here.

I think the confusion arises because I couldn't tell the difference between your poem and an essay, and I think I'm not the only one.

I'm not saying that's wrong or it's not a poem, but when you make a poem look like something else you can't be surprised if readers don't recognize it.

So back to the topic: Is there a difference and how do you tell the difference between prose and a prose-poem like we have been seeing here lately?

By the use of common poetic techniques and devices (the obvious one being rhyme) to put forth the content.

Here is a brief article on Prose Poetry.
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5787
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline Neghe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #81 on: April 13, 2014, 12:43:00 PM »
By "people" you must mean me.8)   Feel free to say so.  

No. I did not mean you in particular...I meant/mean "people".

The best evidence for what we are saying is fond in the words that we are saying.   
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #82 on: April 13, 2014, 01:00:56 PM »
By the use of common poetic techniques and devices (the obvious one being rhyme) to put forth the content.

Here is a brief article on Prose Poetry.
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5787

I read the link.

I'm still not convinced. It seems that 'prose poetry' is simply a piece of prose written with poetic elements that lets the piece escape conventional categorisation as a story, instruction manual, creative non-fiction or whatever else regular prose might be.

For people who have been exposed to poetry in the English curriculum in schools, they may have come across a couple of pieces of prose poetry [though I never did] but the bulk of the poems they see are traditionally presented. This then influences what they believe a poem to be. The prose poem is soon forgotten in among the abundance of traditional poems.

I think a prose poem isolates many people from experiencing poetry as it reads, for many people, as simply a piece of prose with added value, which would seldom be found in most prose pieces. To my mind it is elitist and makes 'regular' [ignorant] readers confused. Does someone who picks up a piece of writing have to be able to distinguish between all the finer points of what constitutes poetry to be able to understand it? At least many of the form structure poems, even if the layman is unfamiliar with the restraints, can read them as 'poems' and appreciate the various techniques employed because of their layout.

I much prefer 'found' poetry -- where passages of prose, unintentionally come across as poetic. A surprising amount of this is in scientific journals.

I'm just confused . . . and unwilling to accept the sitting on the fence style of writing. It's one thing or it's another. It can be appreciated as a rich, lyrical piece of prose [or some other poem-y word] but its purpose is either to inform/educate [such as the scientific pieces] or to entertain [as in fiction writing]. And yes, poetry can do all those things which prose does -- but in the form of a poem. If it has no 'form', well . . .  ::)

Offline Mark T

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #83 on: April 13, 2014, 01:11:22 PM »

Not about the merits of white space in poetry. If something has no white space and is written in prose form, it should be regarded as prose until proven otherwise. 

Mark,

I like your attempt -- if it looks like a poem it must be a poem :)  It's a direct, clear definition that leaves no strings.  However attractive that part is, I disagree with the position.  While space can often be used to great effect in good poetry, for too many years I made the serious mistake of believing the return key can create poetic moments.  I've learned its not true.  If I can't bring a metaphor to maturity, or put words together to speak in unison, sing, whisper, cry, no amount of bad line breaks is going to cure that.  The other thing is I'm not prepared to declare things that don't look vertical to not be poems. 8)  

just my opinion.

T

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #84 on: April 13, 2014, 01:29:52 PM »
I agree that the return bar does not make a poem.

But . . . if it's a piece of prose -- give it context, make it a story or social commentary, whatever. Put the work in. Micro-fiction and Flash Fiction are accepted short story styles.

If it is a poem, then do the work and make it a poem with appropriate use of devices. ::)

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #85 on: April 13, 2014, 02:04:09 PM »
I agree that the return bar does not make a poem.

But . . . if it's a piece of prose -- give it context, make it a story or social commentary, whatever. Put the work in. Micro-fiction and Flash Fiction are accepted short story styles.

If it is a poem, then do the work and make it a poem with appropriate use of devices. ::)

Exactly!  Learn and use the tools and devices of good writing!  I agree a thousand percent - prose or poetry. 8)

Offline Neghe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #86 on: April 13, 2014, 02:09:41 PM »
I agree that the return bar does not make a poem.

But . . . if it's a piece of prose -- give it context, make it a story or social commentary, whatever. Put the work in. Micro-fiction and Flash Fiction are accepted short story styles.

If it is a poem, then do the work and make it a poem with appropriate use of devices. ::)

Sio...you are arguing format not device or technique. What you are saying is that a poem is a poem because of the way it is presented. How it looks on a page. Not the way it sounds.

I am not advocating any format over another. Indeed I rarely use the Prose form--usually it's a mix of one form of structured verse and free verse.
  
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #87 on: April 13, 2014, 02:25:39 PM »
Possibly so because that is how most lay readers will judge a piece -- by its appearance. What they discover within that format is up to them but at least it has given them a hint what to expect.

I believe it's a nit-picky subjective issue. If poetic devices and elements are used in prose, thus making prose poetry, does that then lead to banning prose devices in poems to make them 'poetic'? The argument doesn't hold. Like I said earlier -- its one thing or another and the writer should put in the effort to make it clear which it is -- a piece of prose or a poem. Speeches are full of rhetoric and other poetic devices, but I doubt they'd ever be classed as prose poems. It seems to me that #prose poems# are passages that don't belong anywhere else because the writer is too lazy to make them what they should be.

They are word strings and how they appear will classify them as one thing or another. In prose the appearance of bullet marks suggests a list and probably therefore a non-fiction piece.

We can't stop people putting their own interpretation on things or alter their general expectations and appearance is a strong influence. JMO . . . and remember I have always said I am a prose writer who sneaks in here to play with words in a way prose doesn't allow. I know a little bit but not much and I'd hate to have to be a scholar, au fait with all the different techniques and history to pick up a piece of writing and appreciate it for what it is. :-[

Offline Mark T

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #88 on: April 13, 2014, 03:06:13 PM »

I now suggest we all think about going and writing a poem.  :)

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #89 on: April 13, 2014, 03:07:48 PM »
Says the man who isn't even playing NaPo. ;D